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Judaism! (For Real This Time) (609-539 BCE) - Sam Aronow

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Video from Sam Aronow

Judaism! (For Real This Time) (609-539 BCE)

"In 539 BCE, Cyrus, the Persian emperor, arrived in Babylon, effectively inheriting the vast Babylonian empire including Palestine. Rather than employing the policies of conquest and exile like their Babylonian and Assyrian predecessors, the Persian emperors viewed themselves as liberators and restorers, and encouraged exiled peoples to return to their native lands and rebuild their religious and cultural institutions.

Many of the exiled Jews in Babylon took advantage of this new policy. Under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah, several waves of Jews headed towards their ancestral homeland, in the former territory of the Kingdom of Judah. They gained autonomy and were eventually permitted to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

The biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah attest to conflicts with fellow Jews who had not been exiled, as well as with neighboring peoples, obstructing and delaying the rebuilding process. Moreover, Judah was a Persian province; the Jews had only achieved token autonomy. A longing for true independence figures prominently in the literature of the Second Temple period (539 BCE-70 CE).." from the article: 539 BCE to 632 CE: The Story

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